Parole Violation Hearings

The purpose of parole is to provide a transition period after incarceration to allow the inmate to become reintegrated into the community. Parole is a period of conditional, supervised freedom imposed on all prisoners on their release from prison.

Parole Hearing Process: a probable cause determination by the parole agent and parole supervisor must be made within 48 hours after a parole hold is placed. Within 3 business days after placement of a parole hold, the parolee is served with notice of the alleged parole violations and a return to custody assessment (RTCA) is issued by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) at the probable cause hearing (PCH). Many cases can informally be resolved at the PCH and if the right to a hearing is not waived, then the PCH must be held within 10 business days of placement of the hold.

At the PCH, a hearing officer evaluates the violation report and determines the appropriate action. This officer must do a return to custody assessment (RTCA) with the result that he (1) orders alternative sanctions; or (2) returns a parolee to prison for up to 12 months; or (3) removes the hold and orders the immediate release of the parolee.

Should matters not get resolved at the probable cause hearing, a final revocation hearing must be held within 35 calendar days of the parole hold. The revocation hearing occurs in front of a hearing panel and is divided into two distinct parts. The first stage of the proceedings is the evidentiary phase where evidence of the charges is presented and considered along with sworn testimony from all witnesses. The hearing officer then adjourns to consider the evidence. The possible findings on each charge are “violation found,” “no violation found,” and “charge dismissed.” When a parolee is convicted of a crime, the panel, after a finding of good cause, convenes for the second part of the hearing known as the disposition phase. Here, evidence is taken relevant to the issue of what penalty should be imposed on the parolee and after deliberating the panel returns to announce its decision and either continues the parolee on parole or returns him/her to custody for some period of time.

The Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) bears the burden of proving the charged parole violation by a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard in criminal cases before a court of law.

Contact Orange County defense attorney Katie Walsh if you need help with Parole Violation Hearings or any other criminal matter.

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